Crumbling Is Not An Instants Act

Analysis of "Crumbling is not an instant’s Act"
"Crumbling is not an instant’s Act" is a lyric by Emily Dickinson. It tells how crumbling does not happen instantaneously; it is a gradual process occurring slowly and cumulatively over time.
The structure of this poem is complex and it tied directly into the figurative meaning. This poem consists of three quatrains written in iamic meter but with no set number of feet per line. Also, the second and fourth lines of each quatrain thyme somewhat. Perhaps the most perplexing attribute of the structure is that Dickinson capitalizes words in mid-sentence that would not normally be capitalized. This could represent decaying ...

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is supported by the last two lines of the first stanza, which state,

"Dilapidation’s processes

Are organized Decays"

This means that crumbling is a result of dilapidation, which is caused by gradual decay. The deterioration that results is progressive: one stage of decay leads to the next until crumbling inevitably comes along. The second stanza contains four images of decay: "cobweb, rust, dust and borer in the axis." These images are combined with specific details which give them a deeper meaning. The dust is a "cuticle," which suggests that it is at the edges. The "cobwebs on the soul" suggest spiritual deterioration (cobwebs symbolizing neglect). "Elemental" rust means basic corrosion and corruption. the "borer in the axis" represents something that eats a person from the inside out. In the third stanza, the word "ruin" is perhaps the most suitable word for describing both ...

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Crumbling Is Not An Instants Act. (2008, June 15). Retrieved November 29, 2020, from
"Crumbling Is Not An Instants Act.", 15 Jun. 2008. Web. 29 Nov. 2020. <>
"Crumbling Is Not An Instants Act." June 15, 2008. Accessed November 29, 2020.
"Crumbling Is Not An Instants Act." June 15, 2008. Accessed November 29, 2020.
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Added: 6/15/2008 12:42:28 AM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 502
Pages: 2

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